Welcome to the latest post in our series of guest blogs. This contribution comes from David Hay – co-founder and director at Allthings Ltd. Allthings, founded in 2013, have created an application that helps users keep track of projects and tasks over the internet, without the need for long e-mail chains.
How Productive are you when you’re out of the office?
Are you permanently trying to place yourself within range of the nearest coffee shop, hanging out in hotel lobbies finishing off that presentation or borrowing a client’s wi-fi to push through your end of month expenses? I thought so… that was me less than 18 months ago!
It’s an easy statement to make, we’re progressively finding ourselves and our employees out of the office more. No longer are we tied to our desks with that big PC screen in front of us. Sure, there’s a time and a place when being in the office is a good thing (team meetings, planning sessions etc) but depending on your role, you might usually be based at home, in your car or in airports.
Since the early 00’s whether you were a small start-up or part of a large organisation, chances are that if you were one of those people that left the office with any regularity, then you had your hands on a Blackberry (sorry, that should be Crackberry… let’s be honest, that little flashing light on top that told you had a new message was far too addictive.
Then there was the holster for it… <I digress…>) My point was, that we’re pretty much used to being able to leave the office and not be out of touch for too long – gone are the times of being able to let e-mails pile up, well, unless you were on holiday.
Whilst it’s now expected that you reply to an e-mail within minutes/hours and triage the important stuff whilst on the move between meetings, it’s fair to say most peoples’ workloads don’t revolve around responding to the demands of colleagues by e-mail…which brings me to the point of this blog!
Progress and consumer demand has lead to many SaaS (Software as a Service) developers focusing on turning their attention away from the Web apps to Mobile apps.It’s not just about e-mail triage these days, you should be able to work on your business even when you’re not in the office.
Companies like Salesforce learnt very quickly that their users expected to be able to update their platform on the move (just check the website, every image shows mobile devices now) giving real time deal updates, visibility of new contacts in the pipeline and more accurate forecasting. So, it’s not just e-mail that companies need their employees accessing on the move.
As was cited in an earlier article, the stats are there to prove that your employees who leave the office, need to have access to more than just their e-mails…
What about in-house bespoke systems? The chances are that all of this info is being stored somewhere locally in a database on a server, perhaps even with an accessible API, there’s no reason that this cannot be taken advantage of and a bespoke Mobile app being developed to work in conjunction with this.
In our world of Productivity, Team Collaboration and Communication, we’re seeing a much greater demand for our Mobile app, which is why we’ve divided our development team and put more resource behind completely re-working our Mobile app.
It needs to no longer just be the ‘occasional use, less functional dependant to the Web app’, it needs to run and work just as smoothly as if you were in the office. Just one of the ways we are improving this is to make sure that the new app deals with an offline mode meaning that the useless free Wi-Fi on offer on the local train service, or temperamental hotel wi-fi is not going to lead to a Mobile app that is almost rendered useless. Just like your e-mail, why should you not be able to access your tasks and projects whilst on the move?